(SAN FRANCISCO) — Ride share drivers and Teamsters throughout the Bay Area declared victory on the news that the City and County of San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector will extend the deadline for Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers to comply with the City’s business registration requirement, as well as refunding penalties and interest already paid by drivers who registered.
In April 2016, San Francisco sent notice to 37,000 TNC drivers about the City’s registration requirement, causing widespread confusion among TNC drivers who were unsure about their employment status in the face of multiple class action lawsuits and regulatory action against companies such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers questioned whether they were employees or independent contractors, thereby requiring them to register as a business with San Francisco.
In a flurry of organizing, Teamsters Joint Council 7 worked with Bay Area TNC drivers to bring their concerns to City Hall. Drivers and Teamsters met with a majority of the Board of Supervisors, the Treasurer, and talked with a representative from the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
“Drivers didn’t have a voice in this process until they started organizing,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director with Teamsters Joint Council 7. “Once the policy makers heard how this was impacting the drivers it was clear that action was needed.”
Some of the issues facing the drivers were profiled in several news outlets, including a San Francisco Examiner story yesterday describing the collective efforts of drivers and Teamsters to address the issue. Drivers lamented bills of over $700 in fees and penalties and confusion about the regulations. “
This clearly shows that when drivers organize they can win,” said Bloch.